Around Pasumalai Thangal Village

Ox cart near village. An ox cart Go to another site. at the edge of Pasumalai Thangal Village in the state of Tamil Nadu, (another form of this basic vehicle can be seen at the bottom of the page for Thành Công Village. Go to another page.) The horns are decorated for the Pongal Festival - see below Road to the village. Pasumalai Thangal lies a kilometre or so from the main road where the bus passes. My friend and his nephew lead the way towards the village This page has pictures of the area around the village of Pasumalai Thangal which is some 150 kilometres south-west of Chennai in Tamil Nadu. It is not isolated as Indian villages go, being a few hours bus ride from the state capital, it has mains electricity, and there is some water 30 metres down, but that level is dropping, so a well 600 metres deep is being planned. But apart from those two services life is as far removed as possible from that seen on the last pages about Singapore. Go to another page. The page after this one shows more of the village itself. Fields with goats grazing. Goats grazing in the fields near the village Man watching palmyra. A man, at the left under the trees, watches as palmyra fruit are collected above him. The curved figure can just be seen, but the gathering technique is better illustrated in the pictures below Typical dry rocky hill of the area. This area of Tamil Nadu is populated by these stony hills standing up in dry contrast to the green of surrounding paddy fields and trees Man in crown of palmyra tree. Man cutting palmyra fruit. A billhook is being used to cut off the fruit Man climbing palmyra tree. The tree is ascended and descended without aids Man with palmyra fruits. The catch - cut fruits These trees are Borassus flabellifer, the palmyra palm, Go to another site. which grows everywhere in, and is the official tree of, Tamil Nadu. It reaches some 30 metres (100 feet) in height, and has many uses including: drinking its sap, eating its sprouts, writing on its leaves, making poles from its trunk, covering roofs with its leaves, and making rope from the fibre of its bark and the stems of its leaves. In these pictures it is of interest for the fruit which we are about to eat. Ayanar, my friend's nephew, is climbing the tree and cutting the fruit from the crown area. Once down he uses the same billhook to open the fruit as he used to dislodge them. It is striking how similar the use of these billhooks is, both here and in northern Vietnam Go to another page. 3,000 kilometres away. Cutting open a plmyra nut. The end of the nut is sliced off... The fruit inside the palmyra nut. ...revealing the soft fruit... Goat eating palmyra fruit. ...a delight for the ever-waiting goats Dogs watch palmyra fruit being opened. Kumaran opens a fruit, while the dogs salivate in anticipation Tree with jackfruit. Jackfruit trees Go to another site. are related to figs and mulberries and are native to southern India. One tree has some 100-200 of these 'multiple' fruits, each with 100 to 500 seeds. The seeds are eaten raw or used in cooking, they have a flavour reminiscent of banana Youth holding fruit. Jackfruits (Artocarpus heterophyllus) are Tamil Nadu's official state fruit. The specimens seen here are mere babies for they can grow to weigh up to 55 kilos each Cattle resting. Following the State's official tree and its official fruit, these are its unofficial cattle. Nattu Madu Cattle Go to another site. (literally country cattle) are indigenous to ... Cattle with fodder. ...Tamil Nadu, have good disease resistance and drought tolerance, but are not fashionable. This particular variety, Kulai Vaalan, with their soft brown colour, are no longer common Two men with two cattle. Cattle with decorated horns for Mattu Pongal, (Mattu means bull), the third day of the four day Pongal Festival Go to another site. on which the importance of cattle to the raising of crops is celebrated. The whole Pongal Festival marks the first month after the winter solstice Goats on a road. As everywhere in India goats abound, Go to another page. this variety are Semeri Aadu. Near the sheep-goat boundary line, they are termed sheep locally Two monkeys by a rock. These are Bonnet Macaque monkeys seen around the village and common in southern India - often causing consdierable problems Walls and tower of Gingee Fort. The walls of Gingee Fort Go to another site. (pronounced roughly 'sinjee' - the main town of the 'Taluk' or local taxation area). It was considered one of the most impregnable defences in India and accordingly called, the 'Troy of the east' by the British Palm trees and paddy outside Gingee Fort. The fortification is 15th century, and is based on earlier 9th century structures> It was built during the period of the Vijayanagar Empire Go to another site. which lasted from 1336 to 1646. The walls run for some 13 kilometres and are protected by a 24 metre wide moat Rocky hill and fields. An evening shot of a rocky hill beside Pasumalai Thangal Village which typifies the area; arid rock and paddy fields (watered from very deep bore holes) sweltering from a relentless sun; but the heat eludes the camera The next page takes you into the village with shots of the houses and some of the people who live there. Pasumalai village main street. line
Saturday 11th August 2018 Murphy on duty

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